- Associated Press - Thursday, May 22, 2014

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The North Carolina House of Representatives is honoring its 220th anniversary by convening at the old State Capitol Building.

The House met Thursday at the Capitol, built in 1840 after the first building burned down. It housed both chambers of the General Assembly until 1963 and at one time held all state offices. The first Capitol building was built in 1792 after plans for Raleigh were drawn based on Philadelphia, the nation’s capital at the time.

House Speaker Thom Tillis said the anniversary gives lawmakers the chance to reflect on the history of their office and the gravity of their work.

“This anniversary serves as an excellent reminder of the many men and women who have served in these halls to make North Carolina the great state it is today,” Tillis said.

As the longest serving House member, Rep. Mickey Michaux, D-Durham, led the assembly in the pledge of allegiance and commented on the how diverse the House body had become, now including women and African-Americans, who constructed much of the building and were still enslaved when the House first met there.

The Capitol cost $532,682.34, more than three times the yearly general income of the state at that time, according to the state.